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Third Trango Tower (Trango Pulpit) from camp across the Baltoro Glacier, after an overnight dusting. Great Trango stands behind to the left; Nameless Tower (Second Trango) is hidden behind it.
About May 25, 1988
The slightly-lower peak at the front-right of Third Trango is called Trango Castle, and being below 6,000 meters (It's 5753m / 18870 feet.), it can be climbed without a mountaineering permit. It's a relatively short hike (3 days?) from the road, by Himalayan standards, and only one day on the glacier. That means fewer porters, therefore much lower cost to go there.
Doug and I approached Trango from across the glacier, but found out later that was unnecessary. You can hike directly to it along the N edge of the glacier from Paiyu Camp, skirting the bases of Paiyu and Uli Biaho. You cross two side glaciers, but both were snow-free in May/June, so we didn't feel the need to rope up at all.
A huge boulder under the SW corner of the peak shelters dry bivy sites for about 6. Or skirt up the edge of the Trango Glacier to beneath the W side of Great Trango, where you'll find a few football fields' worth of flat, smooth sand.
The granite walls are superb quality; the gullies are full of the usual crap. The South face, above the Baltoro, had a French team working up it when Doug and I arrived. One obstacle that limits route choices is the glacial debris plastered to the lower face. Standing on the moraine beside the glacier, you look up maybe 60 or 100 meters at patches of mud and boulders stuck to the almost-sheer face. There are gaps in the stuff, or the face wouldn't be worth considering. In the picture above, the debris-covered ice hills in the foreground hide the lower face.
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